Collection of Social Media Identifiers from U.S. Visa Applicants
On May 31, 2019, the Department of State updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request additional information, including social media identifiers, from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide. Social media identifier is any name, mark or other identifier used to establish an account, screen name, nickname or handle on, or means to locate social media product, service, application or tool that permits the exchange of user generated content on the internet (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
This update is a result of President Trump’s March 6, 2017, Memorandum on Implementing Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and other Immigration Benefits and Section 5 of Executive Order 13780 regarding implementing uniform screening and vetting standards for visa applications.
In making this announcement, DOS stated that “national security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening. We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States.”